Our good friends invited us downtown for a “carnival” a few weekends ago. They told us that it would be fun for the kids and free! So we headed downtown to meet our friends. As we pulled up to the address they gave us we discovered it was at the IAO art gallery and it was not a carnival, but instead it was one of the coolest – most creative play areas I have ever seen!
We spent some time together as families in the Urban Pop Up Park installation. The kids played, built, discovered, and created together. It was beautiful! Our husbands MIGHT have played harder than the kids though. There were different activity centers. The centers included things like paper block building, playing with stuffed flowers, Lego creation center, doodling on the wall with markers, chalkboards for drawing and playing school, a stage for performing, large trash cans full of cardboard tubes, and more!
I had so much fun and so did both of my kids from age nine all the way down to a just nine months. I was so impressed I had to talk to the IAO staff about the installation.
I spoke with Kendall Brown the director of IAO. She told me that the idea behind the Pop Up Park installation was to create a children’s free play center based around progressive play concepts. With our society so disconnected from reality and each other progressive play encourages community, collaboration, understanding, and active learning! Less tech more exploring is how I look at it.
Kendall explained to me that Oklahoma City needs more free play centers and free activities that support this progressive take on creativity and development through play. They hope the installation will inspire more free play centers and activities. These free places and events will give children a place to learn and explore regardless of their income level.
The grass that formed the cute sidewalk path was donated by Always Greener. The graffiti wall was painted by Tanner Frady, Jake Beeson, and Andy Jacobs. Fowler Auto Group was a huge financial sponsor for the installation.
Get the kids out of the house and create memories. Give your children opportunities to try new things and expand their minds. We had a very memorable experience watching our children play and will never forget the “carnival” thanks to the Woods family and thanks to IAO.